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On February 28, 2018, in Camden (USA) SE NNEGC Energoatom, represented by its President Yuriy Nedashkovskyi, and Holtec International (USA), represented by its President and CEO Dr. Singh, have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Application of SMR-160 (Holtec) Small Modular Reactors in Ukraine.

The MoU states that the purpose of the Memorandum is not only to conduct the licensing of the SMR-160 technology in Ukraine and to build such reactors on Ukrainian NPP sites, but also to partially localize the manufacturing of SMR-160 equipment in Ukraine using the capabilities of domestic enterprises. According to the MoU, the cooperation between SE NNEGC Energoatom and Holtec International will enable Ukraine to establish itself as a leading global exporter of reactor Systems, Structures and Components for small modular reactors.

Furthermore, as highlighted in the Memorandum, SMR-160 facilities can secure a qualitatively new level of NPP operational safety through the use of passive safety features.

To support this MoU implementation, a Joint Energoatom- Holtec Coordination Committee will be established. The top priority objective of that Committee will be to arrange for the review of regulatory documentation applied in development of the SMR-160 design with a view to further implementing that documentation in Ukraine. The Coordination Committee’ s efforts will be focused on conducting a comprehensive design evaluation based on the IAEA’s INPRO methodology, and assessing the compliance of SMR-160 design with EUR  and WENRA requirements taking into account results of the Vendor Design Review (VDR) performed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). The next step to be undertaken by the Committee will be to assess the Ukrainian nuclear industry’s infrastructure and elaborate joint proposals on localizing the SMR-160 equipment manufacturing in Ukraine.

It is worth recalling that Holtec International has previously approached the senior officials of Ukraine with a proposal on establishing in Ukraine a hub which would be used for further promotion of the small modular reactor technology in Europe, Asia and Africa with the manufacturing of SMR-related equipment being localized at Ukrainian domestic enterprises. The technology of small modular reactors (SMR) has been recognized as one of the most promising areas in construction of new nuclear power plants. As compared with other conventional reactor designs, SMRs have a far higher level of safety because they use inherent passive safety features and have no equipment which would rely on off-site supply of electric power.

SMR-160 reactors can operate in a load following mode, they need a relatively small area for construction and do not require higher-voltage transmission lines.

The global market of SMRs is expected to be worth about USD 1 trillion after 2025.

In late 2016, SE NNEGC Energoatom became a member of Holtec International’s Advisory Council for Small Modular Reactors.

Just for reference, Holtec International is a world’s leading designer of technologies and manufacturer of equipment for spent fuel transportation and storage. Also, Holtec International is one of the global leaders in the area of small modular reactor development.

In November 2017, the construction of the Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility (the CSFSF), based on the Holtec International technology, started to accommodate spent fuel from Ukraine NPPs in future. The CSFSF will enable Ukraine to essentially improve its energy security and achieve a substantial saving of funds Ukraine spent, until then, in moving the spent fuel from Ukrainian NPPs to the Russian Federation.